Stocks in Europe reversed earlier gains by Thursday's close to finish lower, as investors digested fresh news out of the central banking sphere. The pan-European STOXX 600 closed down 0.15%, with the majority of sectors falling into negative territory. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 slipped 0.43% by the close, while France's CAC 40 ended a touch lower, off 0.08%, and Germany's DAX rose 0.19%.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has delivered a “chilling” warning to Theresa May’s cabinet that a no-deal Brexit could lead to economic chaos, including a property crash that could see house prices fall by a third.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will stay at the central bank an extra seven months until the end of January 2020 to help smooth Britain's departure from the European Union next year, finance minister Philip Hammond told parliament on Tuesday.
The pound has fallen below US$1.29 for the first time in almost a year on continuing worries Britain will leave the EU without a trade deal. Sterling also hit a nine-month low against the euro, and was down against the yen and Swiss franc.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Friday Britain faces an “uncomfortably high” risk of leaving the European Union with no deal, comments that drove sterling to an 11-day low against the dollar.
The Bank of England announced a rate hike despite ongoing uncertainty over the future of the U.K. economy. The Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously for an increase in rates from 0.5 to 0.75% on the back of a strong labor market and credit growth.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has criticized claims from European Union officials that Britain has a “fantasy” approach to Brexit negotiations. Mr Hammond insisted that talks with EU officials were “constructive” after reports from the continent that Britain was being “unrealistic” and little progress made in discussions in recent days.
The Bank of England has backed off from raising interest rates as it slashed 2018 growth forecasts, but said the economy would bounce back from a weather-hit “soft patch”. Policymakers kept the prospect of rate hikes firmly on the cards, although it sparked confusion over when the next increase may come.
The UK economy grew at its slowest rate since 2012 in the first quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. GDP growth was 0.1%, down from 0.4% in the previous quarter, driven by a sharp fall in construction output and a sluggish manufacturing sector.
The Bank of England is likely to raise interest rates twice this year and twice in 2019, despite a sluggish economy, says a forecasting body. Bank governor Mark Carney has said a rate rise is “likely” this year, but any increases will be gradual.